Welcome to the VUMC Residency and Fellowship programs


The Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology at Vanderbilt has a long and rich history of excellence in teaching and research. Our programs have well-deserved national reputations for training superb graduates who are in great demand for positions in both academia and private practice. Our investigators are fully engaged in state-of-the-art research, using all the tools of modern biological science, to push forward the frontiers of pathobiology as they unravel the mysteries of biology and disease at the cellular and molecular levels.  

During this time of rapid growth, we remain committed to the foundations of excellence upon which this department rests. We hope that from our web site, you gain an appreciation for our department and clinical programs and that you can attain a glimpse of the exciting future that we share.

We welcome your inquiries and/or your application to join us.

The main medical complex is comprised of Vanderbilt University Hospital, The Vanderbilt Clinic, Monroe Carell, Jr. Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital and the adjacent Nashville Veteran's Affairs Medical Center.  Residents, therefore, spend nearly all of their core training on one campus, contiguous with the main Vanderbilt University campus 1.5 miles south of Downtown Nashville. Core APCP4 training also includes and one month at the Nashville-Davidson County Medical Examiner's Office and one month each in Dermatopathology and Cytogenetics at Vanderbilt Medical Center 100 Oaks, a suburban outpatient facility.

The Department is responsible for all diagnostic pathology services for patients of Vanderbilt University Medical Center.  The Department also operates an active and growing reference laboratory that serves clients in 48 states.

The ultimate goal of the Residency Training Program in Pathology is to prepare graduate physicians from U.S. or Canadian medical or osteopathic schools accredited by the Association of American Medical Colleges, or other medical graduates certified by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates for independent careers as pathologists certified by the American Board of Pathology, or for subsequent specialized training in one of the subdisciplines of Pathology. In training for careers in Pathology, Residents develop knowledge, skills and attitudes consistent with the six Core Competencies as set forward in the Outcome Project of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Specifically, residents completing training are expected to demonstrate:

  • Patient Care that is compassionate, appropriate, and effective for the treatment of health problems and the promotion of health
  • Medical Knowledge about established and evolving biomedical, clinical, and cognate (e.g. epidemiological and social-behavioral) sciences and the application of this knowledge to patient care
  • Practice-Based Learning and Improvement that involves investigation and evaluation of their own patient care, appraisal and assimilation of scientific evidence, and improvements in patient care
  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills that result in effective information exchange and teaming with patients, their families, and other health professionals
  • Professionalism, as manifested through a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities, adherence to ethical principles, and sensitivity to a diverse patient population
  • Systems-Based Practice, as manifested by actions that demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context and system of health care and the ability to effectively call on system resources to provide care that is of optimal value

In order to attain these Core Competencies, the Program has published this Program Statement for applicants, residents and faculty. The Program Statement sets forth Goals and Objectives in each rotation that address each of the Core Competencies, and describes the process by which progress of residents is to be evaluated.

Philosophy

The philosophy of the Program is to develop the skills of the Resident as a junior colleague through a series of graded responsibilities culminating in independent decision making.

Within the scope of the Program is the potential to train the Resident for a career in the community, in academic service, in government or in basic research. Valuable learning is acknowledged to take place not only in interactions between the Staff and the Resident, but also in interactions among Residents. Although it is acknowledged that the new Resident may not always have a clear career plan at the outset of training, frequent interviews with the Director will attempt to elicit a career plan so that educational resources can be reserved for the Resident as soon as possible.

The Vanderbilt University Pathology Residency Training Program is accredited to offer four years of education and training in combined Anatomic and Clinical Pathology (APCP4), four years of education and training in combined Anatomic Pathology and Neuropathology (APNP4), three years of education and training in Anatomic Pathology (AP3) or three years of training in Clinical Pathology (CP3). Up to six months of a program can be dedicated to full-time research, without affecting the length of training, as long as other requirements are met. The program also encourages residents to participate in extended curricula to include research opportunities during residency in the Physician-Scientist Track, where the trainee may engage in research under the mentorship of an established investigator. Although trainees are encouraged to apply for funding for such experiences, departmental resources may be requested for research training. Nearly all residents participate in smaller research projects during spare time during training. Departmental research grants for such small projects with Department faculty are also available.

The main medical complex is comprised of Vanderbilt University Hospital, The Vanderbilt Clinic, Monroe Carell, Jr. Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital and the adjacent Nashville Veteran's Affairs Medical Center. Residents, therefore, spend nearly all of their core training on one campus, contiguous with the main Vanderbilt University campus 1.5 miles south of Downtown Nashville. Core APCP4 training also includes one month at the Nashville-Davidson County Medical Examiner's Office and one month each in Dermatopathology and Cytogenetics at Vanderbilt Medical Center 100 Oaks, a suburban outpatient facility.

The Department is responsible for all diagnostic pathology services for patients of Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The Department also operates an active and growing reference laboratory that serves clients in 48 states.

A distinguishing feature of Vanderbilt Pathology training is our ongoing development of Diagnostic Management Teams, which leverage Vanderbilt's institutional strengths in genomics and bioinformatics to provide experience for trainees in delivering cost-effective and timely solutions for complex diagnostic questions. A Diagnostic Management Team regularly convenes experts from multiple disciplines both to support rational test ordering and also to integrate test results from multiple sources into comprehensive consultative reports. Diagnostic Management Teams are Vanderbilt's solution to the soaring complexity of the modern diagnostic menu, and to the increasing ability to improve health care by targeting specific patients with specific therapies at the appropriate time.

The faculty of the Department includes nationally and internationally recognized scholars, leaders and visionaries with interests in patient care, teaching and laboratory management. The faculty has grown considerably in the past few years, with the addition of dozens of new junior and senior faculty members. Rotations at the VA and the Nashville-Davidson County Medical Examiner's Office are similarly staffed by expert faculty with experience and interest in resident education. The Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology is under the direction of Chair Samuel A. Santoro, M.D., Ph.D., who is responsible for all clinical, research, and educational endeavors of the Department. The Residency Program serves 25 residents under the direction of Robert D. Hoffman, MD, PhD, who as Vice-Chair for Graduate Medical Education also provides administrative oversight for trainees in the Department’s twelve clinical fellowships, with the able support of the staff of the Graduate Medical Education Office. The Department's clinical enterprise comprises five of the Department's divisions: Anatomic Pathology, Laboratory Medicine, Hematopathology, Renal Pathology/Electron Microscopy and Neuropathology. Each division is directed by nationally and internationally recognized members of the faculty.

The Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology is under the direction of Chair Samuel A. Santoro, M.D., Ph.D., who is responsible for all clinical, research, and educational endeavors of the Department.  The Residency Program serves 25 residents under the direction of Robert D. Hoffman, MD, PhD, who as Vice-Chair for Graduate Medical Education also provides administrative oversight for trainees in the Department’s twelve clinical fellowships, with the able support of the staff of the Graduate Medical Education Office.  The Department's clinical enterprise comprises five of the Department's divisions: Anatomic Pathology, Laboratory Medicine, Hematopathology, Renal Pathology/Electron Microscopy and Neuropathology.  Each division is directed by nationally and internationally recognized members of the faculty. 

Questions about the Residency Program should be directed to the Graduate Education Office at pathres.prog@vanderbilt.edu